Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Dr. Phil

I love this man and his show, though I feel the need to explain a bit. I did NOT start out feeling this way. For a good while, he really got on my freaking nerves. My dad encapsulated it best, upon hearing my admission that I like Dr. Phil - he said, "Why? It's just common sense."

Here's the thing though - Dr. Phil applies "common sense" to issues and situations for which there often IS no "common" sense. For example - some time last year, I watched an episode where he dealt with a family rife with incest. The oldest son was molested by an older female relative, and he in turn molested his younger siblings. And some of them molested and/or had inappropriate sexual relations with each other. Shocking? Yes. Horrifying? Absolutely. Common? We would *love* to think not. But the sad and terrible truth is that it's far more common than any of us want to admit. And there IS no "common sense" approach for this family to even BEGIN to heal themselves. But Dr. Phil was able to start the process, and said a lot of things that made sense.

That was the turning point for me, in my fan status. It's not just that he's a common sense kinda guy - it's that he takes this approach, applies it to what many of us view as "extreme" circumstances, AND brings the enormous resources to which he has access (alone, and in his relationship with Oprah) to bear on these situations. Sure, most of us would recommend counseling to a victim of abuse, but the level of therapy needed for the family I mentioned before? That takes a LOT of work, energy, and expertise.

The reason I guess I'm going into all this is that, as many of you know, I have issues of my own that are sadly prevalent in society, but for which "common sense" answers/explanations don't really exist. I was molested as a child, and one of the results was that I became bulimic as a teenager. Most people don't understand how either of things affects a person. And I'm not claiming to. But what I *can* do is tell my own story, and apply the information I've gathered (through research and experience) to my situation, so people might have at least a marginally better understanding of the issues that have so profoundly impacted my life. For a few of you, this will be familiar from emails I've exchanged with you and/or conversations we've had (IRL, over the phone, or IM). For others any and all of this may be totally new. I welcome questions and/or comments, here or via more personal routes.

I guess my goal is to be as open about this with everyone as I have been with a few. No one benefits from keeping these things quiet, except the abusers. And since the abused often become abusers, I can't even say for certain that *that* is true.

So things are likely to be depressing and triggering here for a while (and I *will* do my best to warn people of possible triggers), but I'm pretty sure it's something I need to do. You have been warned.

And I love you all. This is for your own good. LOL!


rain said...

I with you all the way on this, T. If you need to talk about it then talk about it! In the end talking about does more to heal you than anything else.

PFG said...

Hi Trina,
cjblue mentioned your post on my blog so I thought I'd stop by. Glad I did. I know it's not easy to be open about abuse, especially abuse of this nature, but when you can do it you are doing a huge favor to survivors as well as people who are currently living through this. I think that, when we survivors can do it, it is good because it shows that there is no such thing as a nameless, faceless victim. The people affected by these circumstances are not just a collection of remote (and dismissable) "hard luck" cases on TV. They are friends, neighbors, co-workers, family, loved ones, classmates, teachers... This is good for everyone to realize because it helps personalize the problem and creates a climate for solution. It is good for survivors because it helps to know you can survive without having to hide, be ashamed, or invalidate yourself. It's just good. So thank you.

michlle said...

please keep seeking the truth for how will you "grow" humble? I think that is where the real power is.....michelle

Trina said...


Thanks for visiting! I will continue seeking the truth, but I have no desire for power and think humility is a fallacy. I prefer honesty about myself and others.